Masiding Noor Yahya
Iligan City, Philippines
February 10, 2018
|The photo was taken from the lake years back. Red dots are the writer’s imaginary illustration on how the city is hit by areal strike and artillery bombs which devasted it. Above the mountain in the foreground is the location of the proposed military camp that President Rodrigo R. Duterte had announced to put up during his last visit on January 30, 2018. (RSP)|
The Marawi Siege has affected my life and of my loved ones. Until now, I don’t feel so well. Pains are my lot the past few months and I become a frequent visitor to the doctor’s clinic. It is not only growing in dignity — another word for aging — so they say. It is more of a stress and distress, perhaps due to what happen in Marawi.
I should have retired. In fact, I already stopped from attending in those forums and meetings and conferences regarding Marawi rehabilitations. It may be a call of time to go slow on these activities. Yet, I must confess, I am beginning to mistrust those who are behind those gatherings of evacuees, I could not help but doubt, as if they were only taking them for a ride, perhaps, a good time to neutralize obstructions that may rise up against their plans of what to do with Marawi — plans which I think have already been plotted even before the siege took place by those strong powers who drove the Maute-Isis group in launching the so-called Marawi Siege. I said strong powers for knowing all the families in Lanao, no one among them had the ability to launch such kind of a terrible war inflicting heavy damages if there was no strong power backing it up. Besides, the use of artillery bombardment and air strikes devastating a historical city where thousands of lives are lost and the future of its people shuttered was a gross violation of international law and human rights who coud ever do that if not strong powers?
But I could not help from just watching the unfolding of events — the lot of our people, and their struggle to assert their right in their own ways. Many of us seem hopeless to get Marawi back to its pristine origin and decided to settle somewhere else because to them Marawi were no more, or the usual Marawi they used to know were disappearing, to be replaced sooner or later by a new one that is no longer solidly Maranao’s but dominated by immigrants. I’m so sorry for using emotionally blended terms. I still hope I am wrong.
For these and many other reasons, I want to write a book about the tragic event that has befallen Marawi, something more of storiesuntold. To be entitled “The Marawi Siege of 2017,” I intend to publish it within this year, 2018. I think as an independent journalist for decades and as an eyewitness to both the 1972 Marawi Uprising and the Marawi Siege of 2017, I can give justice to the work.
I am calling therefore those who want to contribute in this noble endeavor to please help provide me data and information about the siege. You may contact me in my mobile number: 09477201555 or write to my email: email@example.com. And due creditwill be accorded with.
But I wish to advance the information that this proposed work is not aimed to seek financial assistance from funding agencies, foreign or domestic. While others can do that, I cannot for I am an unknown specie in the world of international funders. These funders do not help a man who cannot serve them. How can I when I know wherre they are upto?
And as an independent Maranao thinker though weakling and unknown as I am, I do not like my work to be no longer primeval to suit what outsiders want it to be. I don’t close the door, however, to anyone who wish to help in this noble undertaking if it does not attach any string to it.